The Deputy PM is now facing a public call to step aside from within his own ranks. (ABC News: Jed Cooper)
Barnaby Joyce should quit the frontbench, his Nationals colleague Andrew Broad has announced.
- Andrew Broad is the first federal Nats MP to call for the Deputy PM to resign
- Last week LNP senator Ian Macdonald urged Mr Joyce to step aside
- Mr Joyce has said this week he has no intention of resigning
The Member for Mallee told the ABC Mr Joyce should resign as Deputy Prime Minister to “spend some time on the backbench”, making him the first federal Nationals MP to publicly air an opinion that the party leader should step down.
Members of the National Party are due to meet in Canberra next week.
Mr Broad said he would tell that meeting Mr Joyce should resign as leader and go to the backbench for a time.
His colleague Ian Macdonald, an LNP senator, made similar calls for Mr Joyce to step aside as leader last Saturday.
Andrew Broad is the first federal Nationals MP to publicly call for Barnaby Joyce to resign. (ABC News: Nick Haggarty)
Mr Broad said the fact that Mr Joyce was not able to be acting prime minister while Malcolm Turnbull is in the United States influenced his decision.
“I need to know as a Member of Parliament that the person who is going to be the acting prime minister has got their mind on the job,” he said.
“At this point in time it is not fit for Barnaby to … step up as acting PM.
“The Prime Minister has seen that to be evident at this point for Barnaby’s best interest, and for the national best interest and for the National Party’s best interest.”
The interview Mr Joyce gave to Fairfax Media meant his story was front-page news again today and influenced Mr Broad’s decision to call for his leader to quit.
“He’s meant to be taking a break and he’s clearly playing to the media,” Mr Broad said.
“This is an issue that we should have let quietly die and [said] let’s get on with the core job, but he is not prepared to do that.
“I think if you are having a break you are better to go and regroup.”
Earlier today Mr Broad hinted at his feelings about the Nationals leadership on Twitter, sharing a quote from the late evangelist Billy Graham.
Tweet from Andrew Broad: Quote from the late Billy Graham ‘when wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost’ … telling words for the Leadership of the National Party.
Mr Joyce has said this week he has no intention of quitting as leader.
If he did lose his job as Nationals leader it would mean the nation would have a new deputy prime minister.
Veterans Affairs Minister Michael McCormack is considered favourite to replace Mr Joyce if there is a leadership change.